2002 News Story

Increased numbers of pilgrims performing umrah

Following the new regulations for umrah [the lesser pilgrimage] that came into effect last year, the number of pilgrims coming from overseas throughout the year has been increasing steadily. This year, 1.5 million Muslims are expected to perform umrah, up from 1.35 million last year. About 97 percent of these come from Islamic nations worldwide, with the remaining 3 percent from Muslim communities in other countries. Another estimate, based on the assumption of one million pilgrims each year, spending on average about U.S. $1,000 over a ten-day visit, predicts a generated revenue of over $10 billion in the next decade.